Con Edison has reported that a "Green Dot" utilty scams occurred in Westchester County where $5,000 was stolen from the victim . This information is being provided to you so you will not fall victim to this crime.
Generally, a caller claiming to represent Con Edison (or NYSEG) contacts a business owner to indicate that a payment must be made within a short amount of time, for example, within 30 minutes, otherwise a technician will arrive to disconnect electric service for failure to pay.
It has been reported that customers were informed by the scammers that the state has mandated all commercial properties to have a new "GPS meter" installed at the cost of about $500, and this must be paid by the customer or face disconnection. The business owner is then instructed to send payment via a Green Money Pak Card, a reloadable debit card that can be purchased at local retail stores.
Green Money Pak Cards are legitimate products when used for the right purpose.
The Green Money Pak Card has a unique serial number used to transfer funds to a debit card possessed by the scammer. The scammers use "spoofing" technology so the utility company's phone number will appear on the cutomer's caller ID.
It appears that the scams are targeting small commercial establishments as well as vulnerable populations that many not fully understand English and/or traditional utility marketing practices. It has also been found that similar scams are being conducted via e-mail which may include malware that will infect the victim's computer.
These scams have been reported by utility companies in many different parts of the country including California, Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, New York and Maryland.
For more information see:
FTC Warns of Utility Bill Scam: http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/09/ftc-warns-utility-bill-scam-asks-payment-greendot-paypal-
Utility impostor scam prompts warnings nationwide: http://terryambrose.com/2014/01/utility-impostor-scam-prompts-warnings-nationwide/
NYPD Green Dot Scam: http://www.holliswoodcivic.org/archives/1049